Mesa Biotech has secured a contract for up to $15.4m from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) programme for its Accula SARS-CoV-2 Test.

The RADx programme was established by NIH to expand the range and scale up the availability of diagnostic tests for coronavirus.

Furthermore, the initiative intends to ramp up the daily testing capacity to approximately 2% of the US population by the end of this year.

Using a rapid-review process, the programme offers an independent evaluation of the technologies and the potential to scale. The programme has received over 650 proposals to date with seven being fast-tracked to RADx’s Phase II, the final stage of the process.

Testing technologies that progress to Phase II will be granted an appropriate budget from the programme to promote full clinical deployment on an accelerated timeline, as well as technical, business and manufacturing assistance.

Mesa Biotech’s Accula SARS-CoV-2 Test is a visually read test that uses reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology to detect the virus through nasal swab samples. It is designed to deliver results in 30 minutes at the point of care (POC).

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The test received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March.

Mesa Biotech president and CEO Ingo Chakravarty said: “We are humbled by the confidence and support that we have received from the federal government and honoured to be among the select group of initial companies to enter Phase 2 of the RADx programme.

“We continue to diligently work for the American people to increase supply for near-term Covid-19 testing, as well as innovate game-changing solutions to fight the current pandemic and future public health threats.”